Network of Alabama Academic Libraries
NAAL uses several licensing strategies:
Each agreement has a common expiration date for all group participants. Members may add a database at any time during the year, and the term will be adjusted to maintain the groups common expiration date.
NAAL adheres to two principles for allocating a group cost to members.
NAAL has developed several formulas to allocate the group cost to the individual participants in each group. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.
The FTE Model: For this model, the total group cost is distributed using the institutions student FTE data. Each institution pays the percentage of the cost that represents its percentage of the groups total student FTE.
The FTE Model results in the lowest possible cost for the smallest members and the highest possible cost for the largest members. While easy to apply, the FTE Model generally violates NAALs second principle: It results in costs for the larger schools that are higher than they would pay for individual subscriptions. If NAAL used the FTE model, the larger institutions would drop out of the group and the price quote for a smaller group would increase. Also, it is unfair to use total student FTE for most graduate-level databases. The FTE Model works best when all group participants are about the same size.
Equal Model: For some databases the group cost is divided equally among all participants in the group. This model works best for products that generally are not used by students, such as Books in Print or Ulrich's International Periodicals Directory. This model is also used for online products that have a comparable print cost. The other formulas would generate an individual institutional cost that would be higher than continuing to buy the print material, for example Mental Measurements Yearbook.
50/50 Model: In this model, the one-half of the group cost is divided equally with one-half of the cost allocated using the FTE calculation.
Variation: On the rare occasion that the 50/50 formula allocates a cost greater than the individual subscription would cost a larger school, NAAL sets a minimum cost for that all participants must pay regardless of the formula allocation.
Bid Model: NAAL has completed several successful group agreements by asking members to "bid" the amount that each can pay to be part of the group. In several cases, members with existing subscriptions have continued to pay their individual costs in order to help the smaller members join the group. To make sure that many members as possible can participate, some members offer to pay more than the 50/50 formula allocates. This allows them to benefit from the lower group cost and not incur the higher cost that a smaller group would be charged. Over time, NAAL tries to redistribute bid" model allocations to the 50/50 model. This is usually done by allocating any renewal price increases to those schools that pay less than the 50/50 model and holding the cost level for those paying more than the 50/50 model allocation.
Vendor Model: Occasionally, vendors present price quotes that stipulate the price for each institution. Vendor pricing is most often linked with access controlled by simultaneous users with a set number of users assigned to each participant.
NAAL seeks to license databases for unlimited campus wide access with remote access for users authenticated by the institution. In some instances, access is controlled by a set number of simultaneous users (ports). Access to all licensed databases is through each institutions campus network and is restricted to the AUTHORIZED library users of the institution.